Description

Pair of Chinese porcelain famille verte, wucai dated vases of meiping form, each painted with a scene of a provincial governor being reassigned and departing to his assigned post. In the first scene, two local bearded dignitaries kneel in front of the governor and present a gilt jue containing wine and a new pair of boots for him to take with him as he moves on, leaving behind an old pair symbolising his enduring affection for the local people; on the companion vase, the governor is kneeling while another official reads an imperial edict probably with his reassignment instruction, both in continuous interior scenes in front of mountains and crested wave screens, the reverse with rockwork and wutong, beneath a band of chilong dragons at the shoulder, flowerheads, triangular lappets and jewels on the gently flared neck and above a band of prunus flowerheads and leaves on the splayed foot.

12 inches, 30.5 cm high.

The bases with four-character marks, xinsi nian zhi, in underglaze blue within a double ring and of the period, corresponding to the xinsi year, 1701.

Condition

One (with man reading the edict): a Y-shape body line which goes up about half way of the body, restored with associated retouched enamel flakes and a couple of other retouched areas to enamel, pinprick to the mouth rim, a green enamel flake to the left of the wall.

The other (with dignitaries presenting new boots): overall excellent condition with no chips or cracks, minute natural glaze shrinkage to mouth rim, one blue enamel flake retouched.

Provenance & Additional Information

• Included by Edgar Gorer and J. F. Blacker in their exhibition of Chinese Porcelain and Hardstones, vol. 1, London, 1911, pl. 118.
• From the collection of Mrs. Collis P. Huntington (1851-1924), New York.
• Exhibited at Sassoon House in their exhibition of Porcelain Through the Ages, London, March 1934.
• Exhibited at the Iranian Institute, New York, 1944.
• From the collection of Archer M. Huntington (1870-1955).
• Duveen Brothers, New York.
• From the collection of the Norton Simon Foundation, 1964.
• Sold by Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 7th/8th May 1971, lot 28.
• Sold by Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York.
• From the collection of David A. Berg, New York.
• Sold by Christie’s New York to benefit the Harvard University Art Museums in their auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics, Painting and Works of Art, 21st September 2000, lot 328, p. 232, purchased by Marchant.
• Included by Marchant in their Recent Acquisitions catalogue, 2001, no. 10, p. 10.
• Sold by Marchant, 22nd March 2002.
• From the collection of Jeffrey P. Stamen, The Jie Rui Tang Collection, collection nos. 580, 581.
• Sold by Sotheby’s New York in their auction of Kangxi, The Jie Rui Tang Collection, Part II, 19th March 2019, lot 336, pp. 46-49.
• A blue and white massive vase of yanyan form painted with a similar assignment scene is illustrated by Von Walter Bondy in Kang-Hsi, p. 105.
• The scene is taken from the Tang dynasty, the well-known statesman Cui Rong served as the governor of Hua prefecture. His integrity impressed everyone from dignitaries to farmhands and he donated personal funds to ordinary soldiers. During the over-enthusiastic party to celebrate his departure to a new post, his shoes were accidentally removed. From then on, when a magistrate departed to a new post, local dignitaries would present him with a new pair of boots. This tradition endured for almost a thousand years.

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